15 Dec 2017, 08:16 — 6 min read
Some artistic techniques have stood the test of time and have transitioned seamlessly into the modern era. Gilding in India is one such ancient art that is thriving under the tutelage of Shehzad Khan, CEO of The Gold Leafing Studio (TGLS). TGLS employs highly trained artisans who bring great skill to their craft. The company is based out of Mumbai and was founded over 75 years ago by Shehzad’s ancestor.
Shehzad fought the perception that gold leafing is an old fashioned and unfashionable art in the nineties and created an interest in the style by creating contemporaneous and innovative designs. His company today possesses a diverse portfolio that includes work on the core of the Jama Masjid, Shah Rukh Khan’s Bungalow Mannat and even the Mysore Palace. Now that they have carved themselves a niche in the domestic market, Shehzad wishes to take up more projects globally.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Shehzad Khan (SK) shares how he is carrying forward his family legacy & preserving the art of gilding. Watch this video to learn more:
GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.
SK: Our business was established 75 years ago. We have come a long way by adopting various measures to preserve the ancient gilding technique and keeping abreast with changing trends in commerce and the art of gilding. Today, The Gold Leafing Studio is an independent entity, shaped into a corporate household of ace artisans, that are competently trained and masters in their art.
This style of gilding was conceived hundreds of years ago, in the creative mind of an artisan who the ancestor of Mohammad Afzal Abdul Rehman Khan. Mohammad Afzal Abdul Rehman Khan was the first chief gilder of TGLS.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
SK: After an extensively studying interiors and furniture, I tried convincing stalwarts of architecture to use gold leafing in their designs. But the very idea of using gold in interiors was considered gaudy and jazzy and therefore the proposal was declined. It took a lot from me to convince architects. My perseverance and hard work finally paid off with getting the assignment for gilding Cartier showroom in Oberoi, Mumbai in 1995 with a German architect which was followed by Orchid Hotels, Mumbai in 1996 and Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai.
GL: Do you believe that the ‘ease of doing business’ in India has improved?
SK: Yes, with the portals like GlobalLinker there is an improvement because a community has been built enabling ease of networking & business.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
SK: The leafing (gilding) is engraved on all inanimate objects with a warranty and seal of genuineness. That assures 24 karat real gold leafing. A lifetime service guarantee is also an attribute of TGLS gilding services.
GL: What are some of the achievements of your business?
SK: With my company TGLS I have experimented with forms of treatments that are very old — champagne leafing, patina leafing, crackle gold leafing, oxidised leafing and textured gilding finishes in gold leafing, silver leafing and copper leafing.
Our clientele includes landmark monuments, personal spaces of leading professionals and dignitaries and artistic spaces of designers.
If you thought there was maybe nothing in common in Amitabh Bacchans bungalow ‘Pratiksha’; Hafiz Contractor’s taste in ‘architecture gilding’; Ambani’s mansion; Iskcon Temple’s interior gilding; Jama Masjid’s core; Shah Rukh Khan’s Bungalow Mannat; Mysore Palace’s gilding structure — they all have one thing in common — they each showcase gilding by The Gold Leafing Studio.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting & assisting SMEs?
SK: I came to know about GlobalLinker through a radio campaign after updating my business profile. I feel that it’s good to create a network and improve business visibility to the target audience as it provides you with the options to search for relevant links and build a network.
GL: What is your big business dream?
SK: I enjoy my work and I am passionate about it. My aim is to take the company to the next level which would be global. I would love to taste success in a global business environment.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
SK: Success is a byproduct of hard work. Give whatever it takes and though it will take time, don’t lose hope. Have faith in yourself.
Network with Shehzad Khan by clicking on the 'Invite' button on his profile
Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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